FM Nirmala Sitharaman announces New Scheme at GST Council Meet

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New Delhi: The Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman announced a special amnesty scheme on Friday in a video conference, which will provide relief for small and medium taxpayers amidst the second wave of coronavirus pandemic. It was proposed at the 43rd Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council meeting.

The new scheme will benefit mostly around 89% who pays the GST, Sitharaman explained. It’s the “big decision taken”.
She further mentions that “Taxpayers can file pending returns and benefits of the scheme to lash out the late fee can be availed, making it more rationalized.

The scheme of reduced late fees will come into effect from future tax periods, Sitharaman added.

The GST Council has approved the amnesty scheme on waiver of late fees for late filing of GSTR 1 and GSTR 3B as expected. Yet it would have been fairer if there is a reimbursement for the already paid and filed return of a late fee. But importantly, GST Portal doesn’t allow such filing for return before the payment of late fees, says Vivek Jalan, Partner, Tax Connect Advisory Services LLP.

An extension of the deadline for filing GST returns has been urged by several traders’ bodies. CAIT wrote to Finance Minister, earlier on the deadline extension of various GSTR returns till August.

Also Read: GST return deadline extended: CAIT

Consumed by the pandemic, states had asked the Centre to seek tax waivers on various medicines, medical equipment, health services, and GoM was recommended by GST Council for reviewing.
Mahesh Jaising addresses it as a missed opportunity where the reduction of the GST rate to 5% on an interim basis would have been beneficial instead of a complete exemption.

As per the decision of the GST panel, the Centre will borrow Rs. 1.58 lakh crore and send it to the states to make up for the revenue loss in the implementation of GST. A special session of the Council will be held soon considering extending the 5-year GST compensation period to states beyond 2022.